Elias Nissen has no recollection of last year’s football game against Preston.
“I got a concussion,” he said. “I don’t remember that game at all.”
This year’s game? Unforgettable.
Nissen racked up 341 rushing yards, accumulated 463 all-purpose yards and scored nine touchdowns as Eight-Man fifth-ranked Springville hammered Easton Valley, 66-16, Friday night at Springville.
It was a signature win in a statement game for the Orioles (7-0 overall, 5-0 Eight-Man District 4), a convincing triumph over an established program. Easton Valley is in its first year of existence, the merger of longtime power Preston and East Central.
“We’re having a lot of fun,” Nissen said. “It feels good to keep the momentum going from last year (when Springville made its first playoff appearance in school history). This is a big thing for our program and our community.”
The Orioles have been a wrecking crew thus far, blasting their opposition to the tune of 466-58 (an average of 66.6-8.3), and that’s been with starters playing only about a half of each game.
Friday was more of the same. Springville led 27-0 after a quarter, 47-8 at intermission.
At 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds, Nissen sticks out in the backfield of an eight-man football game.
“He’s a remarkable athlete,” said Springville Coach Joe Martin. “Playing running back probably isn’t what he’s going to do at the next level. He’ll probably be a tight end.”
“I’ve got long arms, and the stiff-arm is kind of a go-to move for me,” Nissen said.
Nissen has been in communication with programs at Iowa State and Minnesota, as well as Division-IIs St. Cloud State and Minnesota State. He’s also considering doubling in football and basketball at a Division-III program.
He has 40 touchdowns in seven games (32 rushing, four receiving, four on returns) and leads the high-octane eight-man game in scoring. He also has about 50 tackles from his linebacker post.
It’s not just Nissen, and its not just the varsity team that is turning this into a winning program. The JV is undefeated, and the middle-school team has just one loss.
“We didn’t want to be a one-hit wonder after last year, and we don’t want to be two years and out after this year,” Martin said. “We want to be successful in the long haul.”
WILD AND WOOLLY IN 1A
Friday night’s Class 1A District 4 showdown had a Saturday morning conclusion.
Lightning in Northeast Iowa forced a delay of more than 2 1/2 hours at West Union. The game between 1A top-10s South Winneshiek and North Fayette Valley was halted at 8:25 p.m., midway through the second quarter. Teams didn’t start warming up again until 11:05, with the game resuming at 11:15.
It finally ended at 12:25 a.m., with North Fayette Valley a 44-34 victor. The 10th-ranked TigerHawks improved to 6-0 overall, 3-0 in the district. No. 4 South Winn is 5-1, 3-1.
NFV fullback Josh Mackey ran for 255 yards on 36 carries, while Derrick Kuehner added 140 yards on 20 carries. Both ran for three touchdowns.
That wasn’t the only wild 1A contest. Also:
* Tipton jumped in front 16-0, fell behind 39-23, then rallied for a 46-45 overtime win over North Cedar in a District 5 showdown at Stanwood.
Alex Wiley threw for two late touchdowns, with Chandler Harden tacking on a pair of two-point conversions. Harden scored the Tigers’ TD in overtime.
* Lucas Lamont scored six touchdowns, including a 10-yard scamper in the second overtime, as West Branch outlasted Sigourney-Keota, 47-46, in District 6.
BRING ON THE BOOT
The countdown is on for the annual “Battle for the Boot” in Iowa City. The winner of Friday’s game at Bates Field will take outright possession of first place in the MVC Mississippi Division.
Class 4A No. 3 Iowa City West (6-0, 3-0) rallied from a 29-17 fourth-quarter deficit to beat Dubuque Hempstead, 39-35, Friday. Micah Kelsey’s 3-yard touchdown put the Trojans ahead to stay with 8 seconds left.
Iowa City High (5-1, 4-0) is gathering steam with five straight wins. The Little Hawks cruised at Dubuque Senior, 44-14, Friday. Xavier Washpun is the MVC’s leading rusher at 1,048 yards (on 139 carries) with 13 touchdowns.
Note: Photo gallery is from Friday night’s Tipton-North Cedar game